Metascore
57

Mixed or average reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 31
  2. Negative: 4 out of 31
  1. Reviewed by: Priya Jain
    100
    To call Towelhead exploitative is to miss the point. What made Towelhead the novel so extraordinary was the honesty in Jasira's adolescent narrative voice, the genuine way she misguidedly, but honestly, conflates the sexual attention she receives with the parental affection she really needs. With the film, Ball, though he drops the book's first person narration, is faithful to that voice.
  2. Reviewed by: Zack Haddad
    100
    Racism, teen sex, and war are all hot button issues. When you are a young person these things can seem new and confusing. In Alan Ball’s genius Towelhead, all of those above mentioned subjects go hand-in-hand in a truly wonderful cinematic experience.
  3. Alternately disturbing, laceratingly satirical and affectingly poignant, the film, which he adapted from the novel, Towelhead, by Alicia Erian, is very much a companion piece to the Ball-penned "American Beauty" in its unwavering examination of the dirty little secrets and raging hypocrisies lurking just beyond all those manicured suburban lawns.
  4. 88
    The movie puts Jasira -- and the audience -- through the wringer, but it also makes the ride worth it.
  5. The result is a movie about the many forms of social and sexual abuse that does not make the abusee a victim but victor.
  6. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    88
    The movie belongs to the fifth-billed Bishil, a truly gutsy young actress who captures the essence of young female desire in all its adolescent confusion.

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